Feb 23, 2011

An 'overnight' cure?

I saw another doctor yesterday. This time an ENT.

I told him about the headaches, the brain fog, the sleepiness, fatigue...and the constant pain around my eyes (sinus area).

He said my sinuses looked great on my recent MRI (I love electronic health records). And then he asked me if I have ever been evaluated for obstructive sleep apnea. Apparently, it could account for ALL of my symptoms.

Sleep Apnea? Wow. What if everything I've been going through could be explained? And treated easily? What if the past four years of my life were a bad dream?

The only hesitation is that I don't have the typical risk factors associated with OSA. I am not overweight, not male, and DH has never complained about me snoring...Still...my sleep study is scheduled in two months.

I hate to get my hopes up, but if this is "it", I will be eternally grateful.


  1. You do sound like someone with sleep apnea, often they can't stay awake.
    There are two kinds of sleep apnea.
    The common one, obstructive sleep apnea, is where your airway closes, and you snore, snort, make strangling noises, and then rouse enough to start breathing again. High blood pressure can go along with this.
    The other kind is central sleep apnea, where your brain just "forgets" to breathe for a while. In that case, there is no noise, as you aren't trying to breathe. Some medications can cause this - I don't know about the ones you're on, doesn't seem likely.
    A sleep study would find both of these.
    2 months wait? Hmmm. Just a simple overnight pulse-ox would give some indication, as a screening. In sleep apnea, your oxygenation would show rises and drops.

  2. My husband was recently diagnosed with sleep apnea after I begged him to be tested given his snoring. In addition to the snoring, he's male :) but otherwise has no other of the most common risk factors (his weight is normal, etc).

    I confess that I have rarely seen sleep apnea in patients who don't snore - but perhaps we docs aren't looking for it as aggressively as we should?

    Thanks for sharing your story so courageously.

  3. Hello -- The following kinds of people have the high risk of developing sleep apnea:
    - one who leaves snoring untreated
    - Obese
    - Consumes excessive alcohol
    - Have breathing problems caused by nasal obstructions like polyps, enlarged turbinates, etc
    - Suffer from anatomical defects in the nose/throat area like deviated septum, enlarged tongue or tonsils, misaligned jaws, crooked bone at the bridge of the nose, etc.

    There may be plenty of other sleep apnea causes, but don't worry, the condition is treatable if you seek urgent medical treatment.

    For more about this sleep disorder, here's my website: http://apneatreatmentguide.com/

    Cheers for a good night's sleep!

  4. There have been studies correlating sleep apnea and asthma. Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder characterized by disruption in breathing as a person sleeps. The pauses are called apneas, and it can last in a period of time that normal breathing is disrupted, causing the person to skip one or more breaths.

    Phyto B